Thursday, August 17, 2017

August 2017 Book Report

Busman’s Honeymoon (1937) by Dorothy L. Sayers

I’m a great fan of the Lord Peter Wimsey books and the PBS series. In this book, Peter finally gets Harriet to marry him and they set out on their honeymoon. They bought an old house in the country that the former owner was to have cleared out and prepared for their arrival. When they arrive at the house, they see that nothing had been done and are unable to contact the former owner. They make the best of things for a while…until they discover what happened to the former owner…
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The Bird’s Nest (1954) by Shirley Jackson

I bought this book after seeing the movie “Lizzie” starring Eleanor Parker, and leaned it was based on the book. Elizabeth is a shy, withdrawn woman, prone to headaches and other physical ailments. She begins to receive anonymous threatening letters and her symptoms increase. The family doctor is unable to help her and refers her to a psychiatrist.
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The Cats of Punchbowl Farm (1964) by Monica Edwards

Biographical book about the author’s cats on the farm she and her husband buy in the countryside in the UK. Well written and engaging. Good pictures, too.
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A Not-So-Civil War (2015) by Emily Thomas

Blue Hill Library series. Anne mediates between elderly sisters Nellie and Betty over selling an antique pistol that has been in the family ever since the Civil War. They need the money, but hate the idea of losing a valuable piece of their family history.
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The Ant Men (1955) by Eric North

Reprint of a great pulp sci-fi book from the 50s. This was when people weren’t too intent on having an actual scientific basis for the fantastic things that might take place in the future. It reminded me a little of the H. Rider Haggard books in the way the adventure pulled you into the story. Great read. I could almost see the stop-action movements of the giant ants and praying mantises!
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Part Three - It’s That Time…

…to get rid of:

Unused appliances/special pans
At one time, I probably had at least one of every type of kitchen “thing” there was. As time went by I realized that several of these “things” were just collecting dust and I admitted to myself that I was never going to use them again. So…out went the Fry Daddy, out went the Rosette cookie things, Bundt pans, cupcake tins, spring form pans, loaf pans.

Excess mugs
I LOVE special mugs, especially if they’re cat themed. Or funny. I have one with my name on it. I have lovely ones that have been gifts. The other day at a yard sale, I bought a Starbucks mug. I’d always wanted a Starbucks mug! And I use them fairly regularly too. And of course, over time they get chipped or broken and I grieve as I throw out the pieces, but I still have plenty left. If I get a new mug and there isn’t room in the cupboard, then I will find one that I can part with and it goes in the Salvation Army bag.  

No science projects! Every once in a while that fridge and/or freezer needs to be cleared out completely. I am a real stickler about leftovers that don’t get eaten up quickly. I refuse to entertain food poisoning. Sometimes I will know that what is left over won’t get eaten quickly enough and I will freeze small portions to thaw and eat later. And if those frozen portions don’t get eaten in a reasonable amount of time, out they go

Condiment packets
There is no need to keep a year’s supply of catsup, mustard, mayo etc around in those little packets. After a while they leak! Trust me on this! The only thing I keep on hand in quantities are the packets of Taco Bell sauce. Those get used up very quickly. I also have a tendency to stash a few packets of raw sugar every time I go to Starbucks.

Old spices (not the after shave)
Again, when I first got married I thought a good housewife needed to have ALL the seasonings and spices on hand in a nice little rack. After 40+ years, I pretty much know what I need to have and what I don’t. They don’t last forever. If I do have to get something for a special recipe, fine. If it’s still in the cupboard a year later, out it goes.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Part Two – It’s That Time…

…to get rid of:

Shoes  (sob)
I know a lot of women find this one particularly painful. My daughter had the most audacious collection of heels I had ever seen. And then she developed foot probs and had to GET RID OF THEM ALL!!! I could almost hear her wails all the way from Fresno. And I have been known to wear shoes until they just can’t be worn in public anymore because they look like rejects from a hobo camp. “But they were so COMFORTABLE!!” And then there are the ones that looked really good at the time, but just kinda made their way to the back of the closet…out they go!

T shirts
I LOVE t shirts that say something. Preferably with a design and/or words having to do with cats. And I love my collection of free shirts I’ve gotten from donating blood. Very proud of them. And again, I tend to wear them until they are almost unfit for cleaning rags. I have gotten a little better at weeding out the ones that can’t be worn in public, but it still causes a pang.

Wire hangers
We don’t take clothes to the cleaners anymore like we used to. For one thing, when clothes shopping, if the tag says “Dry Clean Only” it doesn’t get purchased! But they still seem to multiply in the closet when you’re not looking. And yes, I’ve made dream catchers from some of them, but I’m kinda past that particular craft.

Old nail polish 
I gave up trying to keep polish on my fingernails long, long ago. My nails are incredibly fragile and split or break simply by LOOKING at something I want to open, not to mention that any bump or slip results in damaging the nail. But I really, really love having sparkly toenails. It’s now gotten to the point of it being almost impossible to reach my toes to trim the nails, let alone apply polish. I’ve seen some neat things to do craft-wise that I will probably use the polish for.

Loofah aka Squishy aka Scrubby 
Both my daughter, granddaughter and I tend to use our Squishies until they start falling apart. I’ve read that you’re supposed to toss these things after 3 weeks use. That just doesn’t seem right. MAYBE after 6 months. If we think about it. And after buying a replacement BEFORE tossing the old one. Use your own judgement.